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View Full Version : Updated- Imperial Cities Adults Only trip - we've returned.


tiggr33
09-17-2007, 07:25 PM
Heading off tomorrow for the Imperial Cities Adventure. I'll update my thoughts on the trip upon my return. We are doing the adults only trip, so there will be variations to report on.

Update, I returned last night from the trip. I have very mixed feelings about it. I am very glad I saw the cities, countries, and sites I did. Would I do it again with ABD I highly doubt it. Would I visit those locations again, yes, just not with ABD. I will post more details below. Ask away, I'll answer questions you have on the trip. I will add more of a trip reprt or highlights/lowlights later.

disneytraveler
09-17-2007, 08:46 PM
Have a great time. I will be interested in the report. This will be my trip for next year.:)

tiggr33
09-28-2007, 02:44 PM
We flew back last night. Overall I think I am disappointed with ABD. I am very glad to have seen the sites, and cities we saw. Would I visit them again, yes, but not with ABD. The hotels were very nice. The food we were offered differed then that of another poster. The adventure guides left something to be desired. I would never fly SAS again, but Luftunsha on the other hand was fantastic. The airports in both Prague and Vienna were very easy to negoiate. More details to follow, time for a nap, we came down with colds.

carebear95
09-28-2007, 03:46 PM
I'm bummed to hear you didn't have a good time and look forward to your trip report!

battenburg
09-28-2007, 06:43 PM
What really didn't you like. Do you think that the air problems and the fact that you now have a cold contributed to you not having an enjoyable time?

disneytraveler
09-28-2007, 06:45 PM
We flew back last night. Overall I think I am disappointed with ABD. I am very glad to have seen the sites, and cities we saw. Would I visit them again, yes, but not with ABD. The hotels were very nice. The food we were offered differed then that of another poster. The adventure guides left something to be desired. I would never fly SAS again, but Luftunsha on the other hand was fantastic. The airports in both Prague and Vienna were very easy to negoiate. More details to follow, time for a nap, we came down with colds.

Oh thats to bad . I hope you can fill us in .I selected this one for next year.
As for SaS, I only flew on them once which was last year. Yes it was an experience just boarding at Logan. They only called 1st class boarding and thats it. Everyone else just scrambles in line. I have only been to Innsbrook,Austria once .Thats why i want to see the rest with Prague also.

kmcrosby
09-29-2007, 09:41 AM
Sorry the trip didn't live up to your expectations. ABD builds their trips up as "an adventure of a lifetime." If it wasn't, I would have been disappointed too.

We went on an ABD trip this summer with one of our DD's and had a great time. However, I've wondered how the trip would have been different if there were no children in the group? Do you think the family focused itenerary of the ABD trips is missing something when there were no children around? I'm not suggesting you can't have fun without kids, and we love to vacation with our kids. I'm sure there are plenty of posters that have done the "adults only" trip and really enjoyed it. I'm just curious what an "adults only" trip with Disney would be like?

Beth
09-30-2007, 05:55 AM
We just returned last night (delayed by one day due to Alitalia) - from Roma & La Costa Bella.

Our's was not a scheduled "Adults Only" trip, but - as it turns out - there were no "junior adventurers" on our trip.

We all had a blast. My DH and I don't have children, and would seriously consider an "adults only" trip in the future.

padalyn
10-01-2007, 10:55 PM
I am tiggr33's partner, she and here mom were willing to let me join them as a third to the Imperial Cities. I am sure she will post a complete report, but my negative comments are:

1. the guides are very young, and that shows. I feel that they did NO research on their product - thus added nothing to what ever the local guide said... in many cases simply parroted the local.

2. too much money spent on the hotels - the cost of the trip was high (I used DVC to pay my portion - 348 points!!!) the dollar cost of my portion was over 3500 - for this we did get 4star hotels, but since we were only in each one a few nights, and seldom did more than sleep in the room, I feel it was money spent unnecessarily. At the second hotel I was given a small couch cushion that had been nailed to a piece of plywood as a mattress. This was described as a "roll-away" bed for the third person in the room. I couldn't even tuck in the sheets....for this I am paying 4 star rates?????

3. the hotels were a fair distance from the sights, requiring a lot of extra walking - or taxi at a high price.

4. I found the guides "reccommendations" of what to see during our free time were way off the mark. They specificially told us not to bother with the fortress at Salzburg...well I got sucked into the amazing bit of history and spent 3 hours exploring it!!! (they said - not worth the trip) The view was amazing and magnificent for photos (I am not a photog, but tigger33 and mom BOTH are and expressed happiness at seeing the vistas)

5. the bus was very uncomfortable, the movie tv inaudible, and only 2 15inch screens for a 50 person coach seems a bit too small for me.

6. DON'T ORDER THE CHICKEN AT THE TIROLIAN FARM HOUSE...UNDER ANY CONDITIONS - NASTY BEYOND BELIEF AND INEDIBLE IN 2 PEOPLE'S OPINIONS.

7. being hearded like a bunch of 5 year olds some times then abandoned at other times.

8. the guides were immature and seemed to want the whole tour over with

9. the dinner for the last night was horrible. The food completely inedible, the "entertainment" noisy and over bearing. Very loud in a small room.

positive comments:
1. we had a variety of foods most days - (see #6 & 8 above) with exceptions. A different poster on another thread suggested only fried chicken every night - we did not find this, but did find the food bland in most cases. cold in some and generally a big letdown.

2. while in Vienna be sure to try the outdoor cafe in St Steven's square. (Cattanoga Cafe) this is another we were told wasn't worth it - we found the service good, the food very good, dollar value good and generally loved the experience!

3. the walking tours with the local guides were very informative and generally pretty good.

4. the summer palace local guide Maria was a gem...she loves her "product" and has many stories and bits of history that are amazing. She was animated, vibrant and willing to talk for as long as we were willing to listen!

5. the medieval village was really interesting!!! I thought the pattern on the walls was painted on to look like the brickwork - I found out in Prague that this is actually the technique used to make the walls look more impressive...my bad!

6. Prague's castle is so interesting...I wish we had been able to spend more time there.

7. oddly enough one of the rest stop we made was at what we all thought was a BP store - nope...it was an amazing market place. Be sure to buy some caramels they are awesome, soft great flavor and really tasty!

8. The breakfasts at the Vienna hotel and the Prague hotel were expansive and good variety. Lots of choices for different dietary needs and likes.

9. be sure to order hot chocolate at some point - so different from USA hot chocolate!

10. The cities all felt fairly safe to me. I walked around all three in the late evening alone without any worries of being dragged down some alleyway. Yes, common sense is neceasary - wallet in front pocket etc. There was a festival happening in Salzburg while we were there - I did have two attempts by a pickpocket - he didn't succeed. But it did make me more wary. I would stay clear of a festival in the later hours. Lots of kids, noise and not as polite.

11. the willingness of the locals to try English - my Austian, German, and Czech are nil. The guides made no attempt to teach us short phrases until the last day (not overly useful in my opinion!), so I was stuck with having to greet store owners in English. Not my preferred way to do so. I have to own part of this since I didn't make an effort to learn from the guide book that was sent out to me.

12. All three cities are amazing, and can't possibly be seen in a few days. I would love to return to Vienna and Salzburg in the future, hire a local guide and go see the whole of both cities!

Things we saw/did
VIENNA:
>the stallions - Lippizanners (SP?) we saw the practice and did a tour of the stables - AMAZING!! There are brown ones!! they are good luck according to tradition
>the winter palace - oh my....1700 rooms !!??!?! the "matron" was Marie Threse and she had 16 (!!?!! ) kids!!! WOW!!
>the summer palace - more amazing than the winter...7 levels of terraced gardens, albino donkey, camels, and more!! absolutely beautiful
>the Vienna zoo at night....baby panda was in seclusion with mom, but we saw dad!!
>the marzipan art...wow
>a marionette show then apple strudel demo...yum!

SALZBURG:
>this tiny city is so beautiful...I really loved the way one walks from courtyard to courtyard - through archways between the buildings - filled with tiny stores...love the shopping, but the dollar was horrible in exchange so I only bought a few things
>the inside of St. Ruperts Bascilica - oh my, oh my, oh my...I am not religious...but this place was magnificant!!!
>the fortress!!! so interesting, the history of this building was so intense and caught my attention for hours! they have just excavated an area to find the Roman ruins - the fort now is dated to before 500AD...
>the trick fountains...all the mechanics run by water power...the technology was so interesting!!!

CESKY KRUMLOV:
>this little jem is considered one of the oldest medieval towns in existance...the place is so interesting. We wandered around in the pouring rain for hours. Amber, garnet and moldavite all at very reasonable prices...of course I bought some!

PRAGUE (PRAHA):
>the old city/castle/fortress was so wonderful! we saw the "golden lane" where the soldiers lived just outside the original wall of the city...talk about tiny! the amour display was amazing - seems they believed in multitask weapons - we saw pistol/batlath/cudgle weapons as well as crossbow/pistol combos.

Oooppppssss - I have rambled on and on...Tiggr will think I have hijacked her thread...sorry hun....